The terms URI and URL are often used interchangeably in discussions about web development, but they are not the same thing.

A URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is a generic syntax that represents a sequence of characters that identifies an abstract or physical resource. Think of it as the top-level concept of how to find something on the internet.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a subset of a URI that specifies how and where to locate a resource via a protocol and an address. For example, the URL for Google’s homepage specifies using the protocol https and the location of the resource.

In other words, a URL is a type of URI but not the other way around.


If you just call everything a “URI” you’ll be technically correct but if you’re talking about a URL that specifies how (what protocol) and where (the resource location on a server) then you should just say “URL.”